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Project SEARCH interns sharpen their interview skills

Posted by Julie O'Malley on May 17, 2017

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So, tell me about yourself. What are some of your short term goals? What have you enjoyed most about your internship? What was your favorite rotation?

Project SEARCH interns are in the home stretch of their internship year at the Milwaukee County Zoo.Our Project SEARCH interns have been preparing for questions like these. They're in the home stretch of their internship year at the Milwaukee County Zoo and finding a good job in the community is a top priority. Being ready to put your best foot forward during the interview is key to getting hired. As the interns have learned throughout the program, you get better through practice. Thanks to our friends at Baird, they had a great chance to build their interview skills in a real world setting.

After attending a Project SEARCH tour at the Milwaukee County Zoo, Bonnie Hoeft, University Relations Manager, was inspired to get involved and help the interns prepare for interviews with potential employers. “I was impressed with how proud they were of the work they were doing and wanted to support them on their journey toward a meaningful job in the community. We thought a Mock Interview Day at Baird would be a great opportunity for the interns to practice answering questions in a supportive environment before their actual interviews.”

With the help of Baird volunteers, they prepare Project SEARCH interns for interviews for jobs in the community.Bonnie recruited a terrific team of Baird volunteers to conduct the interviews. There were three rounds of interviews. The interns received feedback after each — two (2) things that went really well and one (1) thing to think about improving. The format gave the interns a chance to apply what they learned right away on the next round. As one intern shared, "During the first interview I was too chatty about personal topics. I need to stay focused on my work related experience and goals. I did a better job of that on the next two rounds."

The Baird volunteers also completed an evaluation for the interns to take with them. The forms were full of great advice and thoughtful comments. The interns came away with constructive feedback on what went well and what to work on.

Without a doubt, this event had a positive impact on the interns. All agreed, it really helped them feel more relaxed, confident and better prepared for future interviews. A big thank you to the wonderful team from Baird for organizing and hosting an amazing Mock Interview Day!

Written by Julie O'Malley

Julie joined Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc. as Manager of Sales and Business Development in 2013. She brings more than 15 years of management experience in the healthcare and consumer packaged goods industries. She received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin.
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